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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    S@tanicoaldo's Avatar

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    Default Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    So my group is back in town and we will be playing three different games, one simple d20 all magic users group, one star wars game and they asked for one far out, weird surreal and psychedelic game.

    So I would like to ask you guys for tips, ideas and inpirations for the game.

    So far this is what I was able to come up:

    -The characters are normal people that are running away for some reason and end up at the place.

    -I still donít have an idea for the name for the place, I was thinking about twilight zone but thatís too on the nose.

    -This place is located between dream and reality, mind and matter, logic doesnít work there and everything is very symbolic.

    -The place looks like a vast desert but no one is sure how they got there in the first place they just showed up when they were running away, they don't know where they are, why they are there or how to get out.

    -There are going to be some places such as a hotel where the rooms consist of large elevators with furniture.

    -A prison where the cells are fancy rooms.

    -Dark woods with a lot of mist and heavy traffic.

    Any other ideas for weird, surreal and neat places or events?

    Spoiler: Inspirations
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    Last edited by S@tanicoaldo; 2018-06-06 at 10:34 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Those descriptions sound very much in the spirit of some classic surrealist paintings. Maybe go through the list of works of Dali or Magritte and see if anything gives you any muse? Wikipedia must have those lists on hand.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    TeChameleon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Just about anything painted by Salvador Dali or the Dadaists would likely provide some visual inspiration. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass might be good to take a look at as well.

    As far as a place name goes, perhaps just call it 'Outside'. Outside the bounds of logic, where Outsiders come from, outside the universe... stuff like that.

    Places?

    - Somewhere where everyone walks on their hands, manipulating doorknobs and such with their bare toes, but no-one ever comments on this, not even to acknowledge that the PCs are doing something different.

    - A large department store where all the customers are mannequins (if wanting to go creepy, they only move when the PCs aren't looking), and the store dummies are clearly living, breathing humans who refuse to move or speak, in fact violently resisting any attempts to force them to move, even though they're visibly suffering from being locked in the same position for long periods of time.

    - Maybe in the 'main' desert, the PCs can quite literally watch a giant, disembodied hand paint the sunset/clouds/etc. onto the sky with an enormous paintbrush.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    You could also play with distance and dimensions. Small and far away may be hard to distinguish.

    I like BŲcklin very much but it is more a symbolist than a surrealist. Still worth looking at.
    The more you look at his landscapes the stranger and deeper they grow on you.

    And of course there is Bosch. Old but unsurpassed.

    Some classics like the lovecraftian Dream country, the places of the Sandman , the comic by Gaiman, or Promethea by Moore and Williams III may be great, depending of your expectations.

    I also love Les Citťs Obscures, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Citťs_obscures
    Itís a strange blend of architectural madness, retrofuturism, poetical musing and graphic experimentation. The surrealsism is quieter, it grow gradually. Small details show the total outerness of the place, like a colored picture in a black and white comic.

    You have a lot of options, depending of your framing. You can also change the rules on a regular basis. I mean how the setting react phisically, how you describe the place, how the NPC react. You can start for example in a very normal place with a twist. As soon as the players discover the twist the setting change for something completely different, as if the players were in a different picture.

    So You should be able to give them the taste of strangeness, to put them in a changing and surprising world. Of course, around the main plot, some rules should be consistent.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Go through the works of M.C. Escher.

    Spoiler: Base the world here.
    Show


    Spoiler: Have a melee here.
    Show


    And for more ideas, watch the Dr. Strange movie.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Arbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Check out the art of Alex Andreyev. I find a lot of his work both awesome and unsettling.

    Spoiler: like this one
    Show
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
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    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    If you have a copy of Mysterium then that is a gold mine of surreal and evocative imagery intended to convey messages, but poorly and obscurely.

    The key to such a thing as a game is that it's a story puzzle, but you don't see the story directly. So I'd say write the tale they have to unravel, but then go back and pull out at least two levels of abstraction (so the little boy in blue may be represented by an idealistic paladin at one level and as a fish at another.) Then you can figure out how to retell the story at each level. Then scramble it when presenting it to the players.

    Oh, of for a couple of "What you see is not what you get" in recent movies, I recommend "The life of Pi" and "Sucker Punch".

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    And here's the battle map.

    Spoiler
    Show


    [If you actually run an encounter on this, the whole game will have been worth it.]

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    In addition to Escher there's also Oskar Reutersvard
    Spoiler
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    factory reduces emmissions by 25% by employing a poiuyt


    http://im-possible.info/english/art/...ard/reut1.html

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Perch's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Old movies are a great source:

    Spoiler
    Show

    Last edited by Perch; 2018-06-09 at 09:34 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post
    So my group is back in town and we will be playing three different games, one simple d20 all magic users group, one star wars game and they asked for one far out, weird surreal and psychedelic game.

    So I would like to ask you guys for tips, ideas and inpirations for the game.

    So far this is what I was able to come up:

    -The characters are normal people that are running away for some reason and end up at the place.

    -I still donít have an idea for the name for the place, I was thinking about twilight zone but thatís too on the nose.

    -This place is located between dream and reality, mind and matter, logic doesnít work there and everything is very symbolic.

    -The place looks like a vast desert but no one is sure how they got there in the first place they just showed up when they were running away, they don't know where they are, why they are there or how to get out.

    -There are going to be some places such as a hotel where the rooms consist of large elevators with furniture.

    -A prison where the cells are fancy rooms.

    -Dark woods with a lot of mist and heavy traffic.

    Any other ideas for weird, surreal and neat places or events?
    *An area with conical angle deficit. Basically cut a quadrant out of the map and treat the esposed edges as if they were joined

    *Vagaries of scale. The wild untamed areas between cities are the size of a modestly sized courtyard, and conversely the rooms in some buildings may take days to cross.

    *The moon is in front of the mountains and tall buildings, not behind them

    Also, check out these threads:

    Weird Forest Encounters
    Weird Races and Strange Places
    Ideas for a Non-Euclidean Dungeon
    Non-Euclidean Maps
    Making A Scenario Dreamlike
    Modern Ravenloft rainstormig
    1001 Strange Plot Hooks
    Surreal Worlds

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Khloros's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    A huge gigantic battleship with a normal regular sized ship as a lifeboat.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Considering it's based on Dante Alighieri's book of the same name it's scary and horrifying as well as weird, but Wayne Barlowe's "Inferno" has some great melty landscapes and dreamlike stuff.

    Barlowe's "Expedition" has some great, alien landscapes too.

    I'm on mobile and I can't remember how to properly link pictures; there's some good stuff on Google!
    Tales from the Trashcan

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    *An area with conical angle deficit. Basically cut a quadrant out of the map and treat the exposed edges as if they were joined
    See the diagram on page 3 of this pdf:

    http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/talks/cstring.pdf

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    If you really want to mess with your players, make the fourth wall selectively porous. Let analogies from out-of-game conversation show up in-game. Or a creature be adjacent to whomever asks a question about it.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Randy Scott Slavin's Alternate Perspective galleries could also work here. Here are some highlights:




    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post

    -I still donít have an idea for the name for the place, I was thinking about twilight zone but thatís too on the nose.
    going along those lines how about "the outer limits"

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    Looking up from the sandy desert at the sky above, periodically they see green clouds, perfectly still, high above. If they manage a closer examination, they can realize that they're the tops of trees, poking down out of a crystal-blue ocean of water that is the blue sky above.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for cool ideas of surreal imagery

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P06z_ZymfXY

    Along the shore the cloud waves break,
    The twin suns sink behind the lake,
    The shadows lengthen
    In Carcosa.

    Strange is the night where black stars rise,
    And strange moons circle through the skies
    But stranger still is
    Lost Carcosa.

    Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
    Where flap the tatters of the King,
    Must die unheard in
    Dim Carcosa.

    Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
    Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
    Shall dry and die in
    Lost Carcosa.


    -Robert Chambers, Cassilda's Song

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